New Westminster boasts two gold medal winners in Concours d’art oratoire

New Westminster French immersion students shone at the 35th annual Concours d’art oratoire held earlier this month in Surrey.

In all, six students from New Westminster took part in the French-speech competition. Organized by Canadian Parents for French B.C. and Yukon, the competition recognizes outstanding public speakers in grades 6 to 12 in early and late French immersion programs and core French.

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This year, five students from École Glenbrook Middle School participated, including Grade 7 early immersion student Avery Tamagi, “La pneumonie” (pneumonia); Grade 6 late immersion student Avery Hallate, “Le savoir est dans le passé, l’imagination est le future” (knowledge is in the past, imagination is the future); Grade 6 early immersion student Polly Valkenborg, “Comment les boissons énergisantes affectent les enfants” (how energy drinks affect kids); Grade 7 late immersion student Hannah Brine,“Le don d’organe” (organ donation); and Grade 8 immersion student Monika Arcadi, “Le féminisme” (feminism).

Arcadi and Brine both won gold medals in their respective categories. (Brine also won a gold medal at last year’s provincial competition in the Grade 6 late immersion category for her speech about a book of poetry she wrote in honour of her late cousin Eva Markvoort.)

Grade 9 immersion student Ray Wang was the lone contender to represent New Westminster Secondary School with his speech “L’empathie peut changer le monde” (empathy can change the world).

“Concours is a fabulous celebration of excellence in French language education. Through participation in Concours, students develop confidence in French as well as develop their public speaking skills. These are the kind of skills needed in today’s global society and ultimately these students will gain greater employability as a result. As effective communicators, they will become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Canadian Parents for French B.C. and Yukon president Diane Tijman in a press release.

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